Keeping Up With Connections: The Power of Using Social Media To Ignite New Opportunities

by | Apr 8, 2024 | Connection, Networking, Social Media Engagement, Social Media Strategy

Imagine this: Sheryl Sandberg, before she became a Silicon Valley staple leading Facebook operations, connecting the dots of her career with masterful networking. And then there’s Sara Blakely, turning her revolutionary idea for Spanx into a household name, not just through sheer innovation but also by strategically knitting a web of impactful relationships. Their incredible journeys from vision to victory underscore a golden rule in the playbook of professional success: the art of building, nurturing and leveraging professional relationships. AND a whole heaping of hard freaking work drizzled with persistence.

Whether you’re aiming to disrupt industries, land your next and most profitable client, climb to the pinnacle of corporate leadership, or navigate the intricate dance of career transitions, your network already has opportunities for you to tap into. In this blog, we’re going to dive into the power of professional relationships and discover how to leverage social media to keep you connected to your network no matter how many months or years have passed. 

While I may not walk in the giant strides of Sara or Sheryl, my own adventures have taught me the undeniable power of keeping up connections. Crafting and cultivating relationships have unlocked doors I never even noticed and ushered in opportunities that have significantly shaped my professional trajectory. 

Sure, it takes hard work, relentless determination, and an unwavering belief in your path to success. But let’s sprinkle a bit of magic into this mix – a belief in the universe (or any higher power you lean towards) guiding you toward your destiny. It may sound a bit out there, but embracing this trust can align you with your purpose, even if it’s still under wraps for you. Heck, I’m still not entirely sure of my purpose in this wild world. 

The lesson I’ve embraced? Big breaks can’t be rushed; they’re the fruits of patience and staying alert to the universe’s subtle hints, guiding you to the success you’re meant to achieve.

Building Foundations: Your Launchpad to Success

Think of your professional network as the foundation of your career skyscraper. Without a solid base, reaching those dizzying heights is a dream. None of this foundation can be built without putting yourself in situations that help introduce you to new people! 

As soon as I went out on my own, the first thing that was recommended to me was to join a BNI chapter. For two years, I built relationships within the local area here in Northern Virginia as well as honed my networking skills in the process. To this day, this was one of the best steps I took in the first few years of my business. I still have clients from the group and use many of those professionals for things in my life as well, why? Because I built the relationships. 

Whether you’re an entrepreneur eyeing the next big breakthrough or a professional seeking to make your mark, the connections you forge are the bricks of your success story. This is where opportunities are born, nurtured, and come to fruition, thanks to the collective strength of your relationships. 

Maintaining Connections: The Art of Being Unforgettable

Building that foundation is just the beginning. The real magic lies in keeping those connections alive, vibrant, and kicking. It’s not just about collecting contacts; it’s about making yourself so memorable that your name pops up in conversations even when you’re not in the room. Stay engaged, share your milestones and applaud others on theirs. 

Social media makes the maintenance of relationships easy peasy! By taking the time to share what you’re working on with your network, which gives your networking room to engage with what you’re sharing. At the same time, the transparency social media provides as a window into others’ lives allows you to openly engage and discover what’s happening in their world to strike up relevant conversations. This simple action opened up a big door for me to work alongside a major brand in the business world as a fractional digital director. 

Create Your Own Luck

How did this happen? All through a simple share on Instagram asking my network there if anyone was going to Content Marketing World in D.C. A friend and former colleague responded and said she would be there! We continued to arrange to meet up for lunch during the conference, as we were catching up during lunch she mentioned another former colleague would be there as well, who now is the CMO at the larger brand. Before we wrapped lunch we made additional plans to meet up at the closing keynote. And from just the brief conversations we all had together pre and post keynote I got a meeting with the CMO and a few months later I was able to land this brand as a client!

The lessons are:

  1. Always be open to connecting with others
  2. Be a connector helping others make and maintain meaningful connections over time
  3. Never burn bridges or have bad blood, because you don’t know who they know

Nurturing Relationships: Digging Deeper

Beyond the initial handshake or LinkedIn connect, lies the realm of genuine connections. Here, it’s not just about what you know, but how you make people feel. Checking in, lending a hand without expecting anything in return, and being a beacon of positivity can turn acquaintances into allies. This is where you transform your network from a contact list into a dynamic support system. 

The easiest way to do this is to, you know, be human and social on social media. Novel idea, right? But in all seriousness, if you aim to engage with your audience regularly and show genuine curiosity about what is they’re working on, you will be seen as someone interested in their well-

This level of care and genuine interest in connecting with people translates well from digital connections to physical ones. I go back time and time again to Social Media Marketing World to deepen relationships I’ve built and maintained online and at events over the years. There’s something special about bridging the digital gap to the physical world when connecting with people – it’s an added and much-needed layer. 


Social Media: More Than A Digital Megaphone

In social media the only constant is change, so to avoid the chaos and give you a game plan, I’ve put together a quick 4-point plan to tackle the “how” to use social media to build, maintain and nurture professional relationships. 

– Stay Top of Mind: Regular updates about your achievements and insightful contributions keep you in the loop.
– Engage with Authenticity: Interactions should be genuine. Celebrate others’ wins and engage in meaningful dialogues.
– Be a Beacon of Value: Sharing knowledge and insights positions you as a thought leader in your circle.
– Master LinkedIn: It’s the ultimate professional networking platform. Make your presence felt through targeted content and active participation in relevant discussions.
– Embrace Multi-Platform Presence: Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. However, do be intentional with where and how you spend time on social media, thinking first about your audience and where they hang out AND where you can be consistent with showing up yourself.

Professional Relationships, Just Like Rome, We’re Built In a Day

The journey of building, nurturing, and leveraging professional relationships is a marathon, not a sprint. It demands your time, energy, and genuine interest in fostering mutual growth. In the bustling world of professional endeavors, these relationships are your strongest allies, paving the way for a career filled with growth, opportunities, and a sense of belonging. By strategically leveraging social media, you can ensure that your professional network is not just a list of contacts, but a vibrant community supporting your journey to success. Remember, it’s the quality of connections, nurtured over time that will catapult you toward the achievements you dream of. After all, you never know what connections you have today could open new doors tomorrow.

Who are you looking to be connected to? Head on over to LinkedIn and message me to let me know.